Went through a recruiter and they got me interviews for full time and contract software engineering positions. Full time one went real well but they are really high on my accepting the on the contract. What is their incentive structure like for candidates accepting contracts versus full time jobs?
For the full time job case, there is a percentage of your annual salary that the client would pay the recruiting firm for a permanent hire. For example, if the job paid $60,000/year the client may pay 30% of that salary or $18,000 for the hire. Note that there may be passing a probationary period here so that it isn't just an automatic payment when you start on day one.
For a contracting case, there is a percentage of the rate that the company would take. In this case, you may be paid $30/hour but the client is paying more than that and the recruitment firm is pocketing the difference mostly. For this scenario, the longer the contract is there the more money they make and thus this is usually what some firms may prefer to do.
At least this is my understanding in North America for how this works.